Like the capital market where we have losers and gainers at the end of every market trade, so it is in the transfer window where clubs engage in the buying and selling of players to bolster their ranks ahead of the new campaign if it is in the summer or help them reach the finishing line if it is the winter window.
The European summer transfer window has come and gone with clubs already counting their blessings and lamenting their losses. Here, I am to do an expose of the major dealings of top clubs across the major European leagues. This expose will be in several parts to cover all. Kickstarting the series will be the Premier League:
For the defending champions, Liverpool, their summer transfer window started slowly but ended with a flourish. Not only were they able to keep their top players away from the clutches of other European heavyweights, they were able to sign a few more players to further bolster their ranks.
Going into the summer, pundits expected some of the Reds’ stars to be subject of intense interest; Sadio Mane, Virgil Van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum but they were able to keep them all and that is fantastic business from them.
Looking at what they were able to achieve last season, one would wonder what more addition is required to take them further but there would always be room for improvement.
Jurgen Klopp was able to add a defender, Kostantinos Tsimikas, midfielder, Thiago Alcantara and an attacker, Diogo Jota. While this represent a relatively good transfer, failure to buy a decent goalkeeper who could be a better backup to Allison Becker could prove disastrous for the Reds.
Adrian has proven to be an unreliable lieutenant between the sticks. While he was culpable in the Champions League exit against Athletico Madrid last season, he has also played a part in the loss to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup and 7-2 humiliation in the Premier League match at Villa Park. If Liverpool are to defend their EPL title, they need to do better than having Adrian as backup.
For Manchester City, there was definitely work to be done after a dismal season where they won just a trophy, the Carabao Cup and fell several points behind Liverpool in the title race. In the Champions League, they were bundled out by Lyon at the quarter-final stage. Not a surprise that Pep Guardiola went all out to address the areas that could be said to be the team’s weak link.
He brought in two center-backs, Ruben Diaz and Nathan Ake, a winger, Ferran Torres to replace Leroy Sane who joined Bayern Munich and a striker, Nahun Bustos to serve as a back up to crocked star striker, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.
The biggest transfer coup for the Citizens would have been the signing of Barcelona star, Lionel Messi but Barcelona refused to sanction a free exit, City could not afford the release clause and Messi not wanting to burn the bridge by going the legal route, opted to stay and see out the year left on his contract. With these signings, Guardiola would be expected to push for glory on the domestic scene and in Europe.
The Red Devils had a summer to forget as they had issues signing and selling players. All summer, they were linked with Borussia Dortmund English star, Jadon Sancho but they baulked at the fee and never made an official bid.
Despite signing Ajax midfielder Donny Van de Beek, Porto fullback, Alex Telles and PSG striker, Edison Cavani, it could still be said that the Old Trafford outfit had a poor summer window as they failed to address key areas, the defence and defensive midfield positions.
Both areas have been well exploited in their losses to Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur. It has been a failed summer, they would be looking forward to a better winter.
It could be said that the Blues had an attacking summer as they went all out to address concerns. They signed attackers; Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakem Ziyech. In defence, they brought in experienced Thiago Silva and highly rated, Malang Sarr.
To address their goalkeeping concerns, they turned to Eduard Mendy. On paper, it could be said that they had a very good outing in the summer window but it stands to be seen how these players would adapt to the Premier League scene especially Thiago Silva. It is believed that they did not do enough in the defence. Chelsea did not fare badly in attack last season as they scored ample goals but their albatross was their defence that could not keep other teams at bay.
Their summer acquisitions did not show that they understand the enormity of the defensive issues they have.
Mikel Arteta had his first summer transfer window and it could be said to be a very good one. He had positions to address; defence, midfield and even attack. For the defence, he signed highly rated centre back, Gabriel Maghales from Lille. In attack, the club was able to keep hold of star striker, Pierre Emeric Aubamenyang and that represents a new signing on its own.
Added to him was Willian Borges that arrived from Chelsea. Leaving it late, Arsenal signed their number one summer target, Thomas Partey to address the defensive midfield concerns. The only blip of the summer activity was the failure to land creative midfielder, Houssem Aouar from Lyon but despite that, the Gunners have done well to plug most of the gaping holes in the team. They look ready to really battle for a top 4 spot and European glory this season.
For Jose Mourinho, the mandate is clear, win a trophy and break into the top 4. To this end, he has received backing from Spurs’ owner, Daniel Levy who sanctioned move for Sergio Regulion, Gareth Bale, Matt Doherty, Pierre Emery Hojberg, Carlos Vinicius and Joe Hart.
The signings cut across all the positions; goalkeeping, defence, midfield and attack and it stands to be seen if this squad is strong enough to achieve Levy’s objectives.